MANILA, Philippines – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao had another 4-round sparring session on Saturday, this time against a taller fighter who ended up with a slight bruise on his face.
The 6-foot Michael Medina sustained a small bruise over his left eye due to his exchanges with Pacquiao at the Cooyesan Sports Complex in Baguio City.
"He was fast and strong,” said the Mexican Medina, who is helping Pacquiao prepare for his bout against a taller boxer from Mexico, Antonio Margarito.
“I gave him my best work. I tried to go forward and tried to fight like Margarito," said Medina, a professional boxer with 24 wins under his belt.
Pacquiao said he is happy with his training, and that he has learned a lot about how to fight taller guys like Medina.
Pacquiao said the sparring sessions will definitely help him evade Margarito’s “pressure attack”.
"Reach advantage [ni Margarito] ay first concern…kailangan lang naka-focus [kung] paano counterin. (Reach advantage is my first concern… we need to focus on how to counter-punch),” said the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.
His trainer, Freddie Roach, is also pleased with how his prized fighter adjusted against Medina.
However, he said they still have work to do, and the techniques that will be employed have to be perfected.
"It takes time to get everything back to timing," said the boxing coach.
Saturday's session was made in full view of his fans and several media people. The attendees, however, were prohibited from taking pictures and videos.
The night before Saturday’s sparring session, Pacquiao again played basketball and showed no indication of the leg pain he earlier complained of.
He had also skipped jogging on Saturday morning because of the bad weather in Baguio City.
Prior to Medina, Pacquiao sparred with 5’11” Glen Tapia, who wields a strong right hand like Margarito.
Tapia admitted that he was impressed with Pacquiao’s ability to circle away from his opponents.
“What people don’t know, he’ll throw his punches and turn, and then he will hit you some more,” he said in a report by Examiner.com.
Pacquiao will take a day off on Sunday. He will be going to Manila for a speaking engagement in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.